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Originally published: 2013-07-02 14:54:15
Last modified: 2013-07-02 14:54:59

County property assessment underway

Justin Grimes / (

Property values in Avery and surrounding counties have gone down since 2010.
By state statute, each county in North Carolina must revalue real property — land, buildings and improvements — at least every eight years. Avery County uses an accelerated schedule, choosing to revalue its property every four years and the next evaluation is underway.
“The value of county property, on average, has gone down since the last evaluation in 2010,” said Phillip Barrier, Avery County tax administrator. “Average is a big word; it could be as much as a 5- to 40-percent swing.”
The new accessed property values will become effective Jan. 1, 2014.
During the revaluation process, county appraisers review each property, going house to house. “We have the county divided into neighborhoods. My staff of appraisers has been with us a long time and we have done most of the foot work,” Barrier said. “Some neighborhoods have made improvements, others have not.”
The new market value is also based on sales that have taken place between 2010 and 2014, with the most recent sales weighed more heavily than older transactions. “We keep at it right up until Jan. 1,” Barrier added. “We strive to make the most up to date valuation possible, tracking every deed and sale up to the last minute.
“The primary purpose of the revaluation is to arrive at a fair market value of all real property for use in deriving property taxes. The idea is for tax value and sale value to equal. This is called 100 percent true market value.”
The state requires counties to appraise real property uniformly at its true value in money. True value in money is the price estimated in terms of money at which the property would change hands between a willing and financially able buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of all the uses to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used, according to North Carolina General Statute 105-283.

To read the complete story, please pick up a copy of your hometown newspaper, The Avery Journal-Times, available at almost 100 locations in Newland, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Spruce Pine and Roan Mountain, Tenn. To subscribe to The Avery Journal-Times, please call (828) 733-0401 or click to